Netflix claimed to have 137.1 million streaming subscribers as of the end of September, which means that nearly one-third of them watched the movie in its first week of release. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and all the rest fighting for streaming domination share a dedication to operating as though they're immune to the numbers-driven nature of the content business.
The Verge got Netflix to go on the record, though.
Though generally very discreet about audience figures, Netflix is breaking its silence for late December 2018 release Bird Box, the post-apocalyptic thriller about a situation in which it's not safe to see. That's a fair bit of Bird-watching! Nobody else can verify Netflix's claims, nor do they know exactly what "watched" means in this context.
"I was absolutely riveted by BIRD BOX (Netflix)", King tweeted.
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Netflix has about 137 million subscribers worldwide (as of October), about 57 percent of them in the United States. Most Netflix subscribers are overseas, and those subscribers often have access to streaming libraries that are much smaller than the one Netflix offers here in the States. So, to see people on Twitter calling her "the lady from Bird Box" gave us all quite a shock. But it's also important to note that Netflix is counting by accounts. Fan reactions to the film's premise, cast, and tense moments lit up the internet over the holidays as Bird Box became an end-of-year social media phenomenon.
Critics have been mixed toward "Bird Box", with many noting similarities to John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place".
Netflix, however, is keeping its viewers hooked.
For people like you and me, maybe it's not that big a deal whether Netflix (and its streaming competitors) report numbers like this under the rosiest possible scenarios.